How to Build Your Watch Collection
There is one place every man can express his personal sense of style: the wrist watch. If you are building a watch collection, you don’t need a hundred watches. A half-dozen watches should suffice to cover most occasions. This article covers the watches you need.
(This article is reprinted from my Yahoo Contributors Network Content, but it stands the test of time.)
What kind of watches should a man have in his collection? It’s an old question. There is one place every man can express his personal sense of style: the wrist watch. I have been collecting watches for years. I now have nearly hundred watches in my collection. In truth, that is far to many watches for any mere mortal, but I enjoy wearing a different watch almost every day. There are only a few types of watch that are essential for any man.
Types of Watches. If you are building a watch collection, you don’t need a hundred watches. A half-dozen watches should suffice to cover most occasions. All you really need is a nice dress watch, a business casual watch, a fashion watch or two, a sport watch, and a “bang around” watch. A watch in each of these categories would cover you for job interviews, office work, evenings out, sporting occasions, and hard manual labor. From this foundation, you could build out your collection to match specific suits or specific manly pursuits.
Dress Watches. Do you have a nice watch that you wear to job interviews, black-tie functions, funerals, and church? You probably should get something that is functional, well-made, under-stated and fits under the cuff of a dress shirt. When it comes to dress watches, brand matters. You don’t want something that will make you look cheap in your best suit. It would be great to wear a Rolex Perpetual Oyster Datejust. The 36 millimeter dial is the perfect size and it looks sharp. But, in the real middle class world, brands like Pulsar, Seiko, and Bulova have some great choices in a $100 to $250 range. In my collection, I have two Pulsars, a Bulova, and a Seiko that fit the bill. The key is to look competent, understated, and professional. A job interview or funeral isn’t the place for a big honking watch with a 57 millimeter diameter case.
Business Casual Watch. Once you’ve got the job, you can probably switch to business casual attire. You can wear all kinds of watches to the office and that is part of the fun of having a big watch collection. However, some watches just look great with khakis and a collared shirt. For business casual wear, I like watches with leather straps. My AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane has an interesting multipurpose dial in dark green and a rich brown leather strap. Similarly I have a Fossil Decker watch with chronometer markings, a stainless steel case with a vintage bronze tone, and a brown leather strap. Both of these watches have a rich, professional, look and don’t break the bank. You can express yourself with a business casual watch, but I generally don’t get too radical.
Fashion Watch. For fun with radical watch design, I’d look for exciting watches to wear to social events. A big watch from a brand like Diesel or Invicta would totally work when you want to draw attention in a crowd. The Diesel Men’s Advanced Black Watch has a big 52 millimeter diameter case and an bold urban feel. The Invicta Stainless Steel Grand Diver gives you the look of a traditional dive watch in a big 49 millimeter case. Each of these watches is an affordable accessory that gets noticed.
Sport Watch. If you try to get out and get some exercise, then you’ll want a watch that supports your sports goals. For example, if you are a runner or a swimmer, you may want something like digital Timex Ironman Traditional 30-Lap Strap Watch. If you are into rugged sports like paintball or rock climbing, a trendy analog or digital Casio G Shock may provide the armor you need for tough impacts.
“Bang Around Watch.” Finally, everyone has manual labor to do from time to time. It doesn’t make any sense to mow your lawn, paint your house, or fix your car while wearing an expensive watch. There are lots of inexpensive watches for less than $30 that keep perfectly good time and aren’t a big loss if they get scratched or damaged.
Once you have a basic watch collection in place, it can serve you for years or you can expand it over time. While some may think that cell phones tell time just fine, they are really missing out. Men have never had more choices in affordable wrist wear.